John 12
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
John 12:1. Πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν τοῦ πάσχα) Six days before the Passover took place. So the Septuagint, πρὸ δύο ἐτῶν τοῦ σεισμοῦ, πρὸ τριῶν μηνῶν τοῦ θερισμοῦ [two years before the earthquake,—three months before the harvest], Amos 1:1; Amos 4:7. Add 2 Maccabees 15 :(36) 37. The day before had been the Sabbath;[308] and that was called by the Jews the great Sabbath, שבת הגדול: as the Greeks distinguish the subsequent week and the several days of it by an epithet expressive of greatness.—ΕἸς ΒΗΘΑΝΊΑΝ, to Bethany) For He had departed from it after having raised up Lazarus: ch. John 11:54, “Jesus—went thence—into Ephraim.” [After the Saviour had passed the night in this place (Bethany—to which He had come by way of Jericho from Ephraim), on the following day He left Bethany and came to Bethphage, which was nearer Jerusalem; and, having procured the ass and foal from a village in that quarter, He rode into the city in solemn state.—Harm., p. 440.]—ἘΚ ΝΕΚΡῶΝ) The Lat. has ‘Jesus;’ several other copies have ἐκ νεκρῶν ὁ Ἰησοῦς: ἐκ νεκρῶν is extant at John 12:9.[309]

[308] Therefore it was on the first day (Sunday) of the great week that the paschal Lamb, the one who bore the name in the true sense [the antitype], was set apart (comp. Exodus 12:3, “In the tenth day of the month Abib, they shall take to them every man a lamb,” etc.); and from that supper, at which Jesus was made ready [by the anointing] for His burial, to the supper at which on the day of His resurrection He appeared to His disciples, a space of eight days elapsed.—Harm., p. 440.

[309] The Vers. Germ. omits this clause in the present verse, but retains the name ὁ Ἰησοῦς.—E. B.

ABDa Rec. Text retain ἐκ νεκρῶν. b and Vulg. omit the words. ABDLΔ have ὁ Ἰησοῦς (B omitting ): Vulg. also has ‘Jesus.’ Xabc and Rec. Text omit it.—E. and T.

There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
John 12:2. Ἐποίησαν, they made) the people of Bethany.—αὐτῷ, for Him) in His honour.—δεῖπνον, a supper) a solemn [festive] one. The banquet, at which Lazarus was present after his being raised to life, may be compared with the heavenly banquet, at which hereafter there shall be present the dead saints, when they shall have risen again.—ἡ Μάρθα, Martha) Martha manifested her zealous affection in one way, Mary in another, John 12:3, [Martha served; Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with the costly ointment, etc.]

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
John 12:3. Ἐκ τῆς ὀσμῆς, owing to [“with”] the odour) It was at this very odour that Judas took offence.

Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
John 12:5. Τριακοσίων δηναρίων, for three hundred denarii [pence]) Fifty or sixty florins.

This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
John 12:6. Οὐχ ὅτι, not because) It is hypocrisy when one thing is said, whilst another thing is cared for [is the real object of solicitude]. Avarice makes the poor its pretext, and that in serious earnest at times: for it hates even genuine munificence.—κλέπτης, a thief) It is a more saddening expression a disciple [yet] a thief, which results from comparing this verse with John 12:4 [“one of His disciples, Judas”], than if it were simply said a thief: and so a brother, a fornicator [1 Corinthians 5:11], and such like expressions.—γλωσσόκομον) So the Septuag. for the Hebr. ארון, 2 Chronicles 24:8; 2 Chronicles 24:10, etc., and in cod. Alex. 2 Samuel 6:11. It seems to me desirable, in this place in particular, to observe the nature of the apostolic style. The sacred writers were not solicitous as to whether fastidious ears were likely to judge each particular word to be Attic or a barbarism: a fact which may be established sufficiently even by this one argument, that of the terms which the Atticists examine [as dubious in point of good style], a considerable part occur in the New Testament. For instance, let Phrynichus be looked into as to the term γλωσσόκομον;[310] also Thomas Magister on ἵνα; Mœris on ἘΝΕΤΕΙΛΆΜΗΝ; with which word compare this passage, and Revelation 22:14 [ΟἹ ΠΟΙΟῦΝΤΕς Τ. ἘΝΤΟΛᾺς, ἽΝΑ ἜΣΤΑΙ], Matthew 28:20 [ὌΣΑ ἘΝΕΤΕΙΛΆΜΗΝ]; so that they seem to have enriched their collections [of forms not pure Attic] out of the New Testament itself. Moreover the Sacred writers most exactly observe the proper [strict] signification of words: for instance, John 1:1; John 1:17. notes:[311] inasmuch as accuracy in this latter respect, not in respect to the former [purity of Attic style], was conducive to making the Divine mind known.—εἶχε) was having: either he used to have it always, or he was having it then [in his turn] after the other disciples, at that the last time. Judas himself seems to have taken to himself this office; which, however, was left to him, even though he was a thief: ch. John 13:29, “Some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or that he should give something to the poor.”—τὰ βαλλόμενα, which were contributed to it [what was put therein]) Jesus was poor and needy.—ἐβάσταζεν, he was carrying) for the ordinary necessities of the Saviour’s bodily sustenance.

[310] For which the ancients used γλωσσοκομεῖον and γλωσσοκόμιον, and in the sense of the receptacle of the mouth-piece of the tibia or flageolet, not in the recent sense, a coffer or purse.—E. and T.

[311] The distinction is accurately observed between ἦνἐγένετοἐδόθη, so that one could not be substituted for the other without injury to the sense.—E. and T.

Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
John 12:7. Εἶπεν, said) Jesus does not openly reprove the mind of Judas: He rather marks [stigmatises] the thing itself.—ἡμέραν) This very day[not “against the day of My burying,” as if it were future]: at that time was the day;[312] Matthew 26:12, notes. His death, and the burial itself, was in six days after (comp. John 12:1) about to follow this present ἘΝΤΑΦΙΑΣΜΌΝ, preparation for the sepulchre. See Ord. Temp. p. 263, etc. [Ed. ii. 228].—ἵνατηρήσῃ)[313] Understand, this has been done. Let her alone: this has been done, that she might keep it, etc. So ἵνα, ch. John 9:3, etc. [ΟὔΤΕ ΟὟΤΟς ἭΜΑΡΤΕΝ, ἈΛΛʼ ἽΝΑ ΦΑΝΕΡΩΘῇ ΤᾺ ἜΡΓΑ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ]. The ΔΙΑΤΊ, why, which had been started as an objection by Judas, is aptly repelled [by this ἵνα τηρήσῃ εἰς ἡμέραν τ. ἐνταφιασμοῦ]), and at the same time Judas is warned; for his treachery waxed stronger and stronger until it eventuated in the Saviour’s death.—ΤΗΡΉΣῌ, that she might keep it) So there was no ‘waste.’ She had been previously prepared to contribute it to the poor, if it should be needed; but she was guided by the Divine counsel, that she should keep it for the object for which it was needed, although she herself was unconscious of it.

[312] Of the ἐνταφιασμός, not the committal to the sepulchre, but the preparation of the body for it.—E. and T.

[313] This reading, which had been placed by the margin of the Ed. Maj. as it were in equilibrium [the arguments being regarded as equally balanced on both sides], has obtained the preference in Ed. 2 and Vers. Germ.—E. B. [BDQLXabc Vulg. have ἵνα τηρήσῃ: A and Rec. Text, τετήρηκεν.—E. and T.]

For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
John 12:9. Ἔγνω, knew) The odour of the ointment, and the fame of the anointing, might have supplied them with the information [that He was there].—τὸν Λάζαρον, Lazarus) Who is there that would not seek Bethany for the sake of seeing him?

But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
John 12:10. Ἐβουλεύσαντο) were consulting.—ἀποκτείνωσιν, might put to death) To recall to life was something; but what is it to put to death? There was one doctrine, and one miracle, which especially occasioned their killing Jesus: the doctrine was that of Jesus being the Son of God; the miracle, the raising again of Lazarus. [To such a pitch does the bitterness of the mind that is destitute of faith advance, where there is left no way of escaping the unwelcome truth.—V. g.]

Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.
John 12:11. [314]Ὑπῆγον, went away) to Bethany.

[314] δἰ αὐτόν, by reason of him) No one truly should shrink from encountering even death, provided that a large number might be brought over thereby, and won to faith in Christ.—V. g.

On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
John 12:12. [315]Ὁ ἐλθών, coming [that were come]) They must therefore have been Galileans, rather than inhabitants of Jerusalem.—ἀκούσαντες, hearing [when they heard]) The less that Jesus’ coming had been expected, the more in proportion was it now eagerly welcomed.

[315] τῇ ἐπαύριον, on the following day) All that is related from this verse down to ver. 50, constitutes the proceedings of one day, which certainly was a day most abundant in important incident.—Harm., p. 450.

Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
John 12:13. Ἔλαβον, took) not caring for that ‘commandment,’ as to which ch. John 11:57 speaks, “The chief priests and Pharisees had given a commandment, that if any man knew where He was, he should show it, that they might take Him.”—τὰ βαιΐα τῶν φοινίκων, branches of palms) The use of the palm was frequent in Judea. Leviticus 23:40, “Ye shall take you on the first day—of the feast of tabernacles, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when for seven days they dwelt in booths—branches of palm trees.”

And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
John 12:14. Εὑρών, having obtained [when He had found]) He was poor [and therefore had not one of His own].—ὀνάριον) ὀνάριον, a young or little ass [asellus], a diminutive, is not so much opposed in this passage to the ass [of ordinary size], as to the fiery horse, which our Lord did not use.

Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
John 12:15. Μὴ φοβοῦ, fear not) The Majesty of so great a King might well excite fear: but His mildness, to which His mode of entry corresponds, takes away fear.

These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
John 12:16. Ταῦτα, these things) This His entry, of so momentous importance, and His prediction.—οὐκ ἔγνωσαν, understood not) The reason of the Divine proceedings and words is generally hidden from us at the beginning. Therefore accordingly we ought to believe and obey, and commit ourselves to the Divine governance [guidance]: ch. John 13:7, “What I do (washing their feet) thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter;” John 12:36, [Jesus to Simon] “Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards;” John 16:4, “These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you in the beginning;” John 2:22, “When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them (Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up), and they believed.” The whole work of faith is to embrace those things which we do not yet comprehend, but which hereafter we shall perceive.—τὸ πρῶτον, at the first) During the time of their discipleship, before that the Lord was glorified.—ἐδοξάσθη, was glorified) by His resurrection and ascension. For there were many things which at a subsequent time they understood.—τότε, then) That afterwards in a remarkable degree confirmed their faith.—ταῦτα, καὶ ταῦτα, these things, and these things) A sweet repetition, expressing the consonance between the prophecy and the event. At καί, and, understand ὅτι, that, as in ch. John 20:18, “Μαριάμἀγγέλλουσα, ὅτι ἑώρακεν τὸν Κύριον, καὶ (sc. ὅτι) ταῦτα εἶπεν.” For the force of the verb, they remembered, falls more properly on “that they had done,” than upon “that these things were written.”—ἐποίησαν, had done) namely, both the disciples themselves, and the people: John 12:12.

The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
John 12:17. Ἐμαρτύρει, bare record) as to the miracle, at which they were present.—ἐφώνησεν ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου, called out of the tomb) The greatness of the miracle, and the ease with which it was performed, are most skilfully expressed. The style of Scripture is easy, when treating of the greatest things, therein surpassing in sublimity every sample of the sublime in oratory. The raising up of Lazarus is the crowning triumph of Christ’s miracles: the order of which latter may be compared with the order observed in the restoration of the human race. Let the expression, [God] said, Genesis 1., be compared with the verb, called, here.—καί) and so.

For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
John 12:18. Ὄχλος, the people) The people who were hearers, being taught [informed] by the people that were spectators. Matthew [John 21:9] and Mark call the former, those that went before; the latter, those that followed. One may infer from thence, that some of the spectators, entering the city, published the miracle, and so, accompanied by several more, came to meet the Lord; whilst others of them, constituting the larger number, tarried outside the rate, and afterwards followed the Lord when making His entry.

The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
John 12:19. Θεωρεῖτε) The indicative without an interrogation [Engl. Vers. makes it an interrogation, Perceive ye?]. Comp. Acts 21:20, [Θεωρεῖς, ἀδελφὲ, πόσαι μυρίαδες, “Thou perceivest, brother, how many,” etc.] They approve of the counsel of Caiaphas.—οὐκ ὠφελοῦμεν οὐδέν) See App. Crit., Ed. ii., on this passage.[316] [It is well, when matters come to that (that the enemies of the truth cannot prevail against it).—V. g.]—ὁ κόσμος, the world) An hyperbole resulting from indignation. If the whole world, say they, were ours, it would desert us to go after Him. There lies hidden in their words something like a prophecy. Comp. ch. John 11:50. [Caiaphas’ unconscious prophecy] “that one man should die for the people;” and John 19:19, etc., [Pilate’s unwitting testimony of Jesus’ kingship of the Jews, in the inscription on the Cross; an inscription, which he was providentially overruled not to withdraw, when requested to substitute] “that He said, I am King of the Jews.”—ἀπῆλθεν, is gone) away from us. How shall we retain the world?

Bengel’s authority for ὠφελοῦμεν seems to be the Vulg. ‘proficimus;’ also c. But ABDQb Rec. Text read οὐκ ὠφελεῖτε οὐδέν; “nihil proficitis” is the reading in a.—E. and T.

And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
John 12:20. Ἕλληνες, Greeks) A prelude herein is given of the kingdom of God being about to pass over from the Jews (John 12:37, “Though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him”) to the Gentiles. It is not clear that they were circumcised: certainly, at least, they were worshippers of the One God of Israel.—ἐκ τῶν ἀναβαινόντων) of those who were wont to go up [to worship],—ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ, in the feast) That feast, of which ch. John 11:55 speaks [the Passover].

The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
John 12:21. Βηθσαϊδά, Bethsaida) It was there, perhaps, that those Greeks had been wont to lodge on their journey to Jerusalem. Or else they were aware that the Galileans were likely to serve them in their object, rather than the Jews. [Or else, when, unacquainted with the true state of the case, they had, at Jerusalem, fallen in with the adversaries of Christ, they had been teamed by these not to go to the Lord Himself.—Harm., p. 450.]—κύριε, Sir) They address him thus, as being almost unknown to them; comp. ch. John 20:15 [Mary Magdalene, after the resurrection, not knowing Jesus, addresses Him, ‘Sir’]; but not without therein implying some degree of respect. Acquaintances were usually addressed by name.—θέλομεν, we wish) Here is exhibited an effect and specimen of those things of which John 12:31, etc., treat, “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out,—I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” [This desire of theirs was superior to Herod’s desire; Luke 23:8, “He was desirous to see Him of a long season, because he had heard many things of Him, and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by Him.”—V. g.]—τόν) The article has a demonstrative force.—ἰδεῖν, to see) A modest request. It was not as yet time that Jesus should speak much with them. They had either seen Jesus even previously at Jerusalem, or they had heard concerning Him. Jesus was then engaged in the inner part of the temple, to which an entrance was not open to the Greeks.

Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
John 12:22. Καὶ λέγει, and telleth) Philip, from a feeling of reverence, feared alone [by himself] to introduce the Greeks: in company with a friend, he ventures to do so. [He deemed it a matter worthy of being well-weighed.—V. g.]

And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
John 12:23. Ἡ ὥρα, the hour) Of this hour there is frequent subsequent mention: John 12:27, “Father save Me from this hour,” John 13:1, “When Jesus knew that His hour was come, that He should depart out of this world unto the Father,” John 16:32, “Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered,” John 17:1, “Father, the hour is come: glorify Thy Son.”—ἵνα δοξασθῇ, that—should be glorified) with the Father: John 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was,” and in the sight of every creature. The glorification of Christ and the conversion of the Gentiles fall upon one and the same time.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
John 12:24. Πεσών) when it hath fallen.—αὐτὸς μόνος, by itself alone) Christ, even though He had not died for us, yet could have been by [in] Himself the same that He now is.—ἀποθάνῃκαρπόν, it shall have died—fruit) This passage contains a previous specimen of both [His death-sufferings—and the fruit], John 12:27; John 12:32. The many ages since portray and exhibit the much fruit. [So also, even among those who live in our time, there are some little grains of this kind. It is happy for him, who can with truth reckon himself among the number.—V. g.]

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
John 12:25. Τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ, his life) that is, himself.—ἀπολέσει, shall lose it) unto eternity.—ὁ μισῶν, he who hateth) The soul attains to this hatred, when it is imbued with a feeling of the words of Christ, which occur at John 12:24.[317]—ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ τούτῳ) in this world, which is the object of mere sight, and is vain, perishing, and evil. This is not expressed in the preceding sentence [He that loveth his life]; for this world of itself draws us to the love of life; but to hate life in this world, is the great thing[318] [a great attainment].

[317] Implying, as in Christ, so in the believer also, the need that the corn of wheat must first die, if it is afterwards to bring forth much fruit.—E. and T.

[318] Φνλάξει, shall keep it) This is prudence, in the true sense of the word. V. g.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
John 12:26. [319]Τίς) τίς, any man, in this verse, is in the first instance placed after the ἐμοί, and subsequently it is placed before, producing thereby the greater emphasis [ἘΜΟΊ ΤΙςΤΙς ἘΜΟΊ]. [The second τίς implies, However much he may have been despised by the world.—V. g.]—ἀκολουθείτω, let him follow) on that road, which has been set before Me. The imperative here promises, and invites by a most immediate perception of glory close at hand.—ἔσται, shall be) The promise. Comp. Revelation 14:4, “These are they which follow the Lamb, whithersoever He goeth—the redeemed from among men.” [The following of Christ, of itself, leads the servant to the same place where His Master dwells. But by wandering from Him to this or that side, the servant fails in reaching the wished-for end.—V. g.]—τιμήσει, will honour) A comprehensive expression, corresponding with δοξασθῇ, should be glorified, John 12:23. [Such a one truly is distinguished by greater honour than what can be devised by the greatest of great men, throughout the wide world’s extent, or can be bestowed on the most deserving person, whether living or dead, in tear or peace.—V. g.]—αὐτόν, him) as fellow-heir of the Son. Romans 8:29, “That He (the Son) might be the first-born among many brethren.”

[319] ἐμοί, Me) This is put twice with great force.—V. g.

Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
John 12:27. Νῦν, now) Jesus had various foretastes of His passion, by which lie prepared Himself for it. This now, νῦν, has great weight: a second now occurs, John 12:31, “Now is the judgment of this world.” [So also ch. John 13:31, “Now is the Son of man glorified.” In both instances there follows after the ‘now,’ etc., a declaration of the shortness of the time yet left to Him: in this passage, at John 12:35, “Yet a little while is the light with you:” in the other passage (ch. John 13:31), at John 12:33, “Yet a little while I am with you.”—V. g.]—τετάρακται, is troubled) A becoming declaration. The horror of death, and the ardour of His obedience, were meeting together.[320]—καὶ τί εἴπω, and what shall I say) Jesus immediately sustains [buoys up] His soul in that very νῦν, now. A double-membered speech follows this formula; and the formula itself has this force, that His thought is to be regarded as having conceived the whole idea expressed [sentiment, viz., not only nature’s instinctive shrinking from suffering, but also full approval of God’s will] in one moment, although human language could not comprise the full expression of the whole in one moment; hence, as it were for the sake of προθεραπεία [precaution, lest His following words should be misunderstood, as though He were doubting, should He choose suffering], He saith, what SHALL I Say? not, what shall I choose? with which comp. [the rather different experience of Paul] Php 1:22, “What I shall choose I wot not: for I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart.”—σῶσόν με, save Me) The expression, Let this cup pass [Matthew 26:39], is akin to the expression here.—ἐκ τῆς ὥρας ταὺτης) from this hour of suffering. For the soul of Jesus was vividly realizing to itself this [hour of suffering], John 12:23.—ἀλλά, but however) Akin to this is tint expression, πλήν, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt” [Matthew 26:39].—διὰ τοῦτο, for this cause) Therefore came I to this hour, that I might come to this hour, and drain its cup of suffering to the dregs. An elliptical Ploce. [See Appendix. This figure is, when the same expression is put twice, once in the simple sense of the word itself, and once to express an attribute of it.]

[320] Truly both the glory and humiliation of Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD, exceed all comprehension. Thence resulted the marvellous attempering [temperamentum; mixture in due proportions] of the sacred affections of mind in the same Divine Being, of His thoughts, words, and whole course of action, in relation to the Father, to His disciples, and to all other men; whilst at one time the one state [that of His humiliation], at another time the other state [that of His Divine glory], claimed to itself the prominent place: with however this proviso, that in both cases the Becoming, that is, what was worthy of His own Divine Majesty, and condescension to His wretched brethren, in an altogether incomparable manner harmonise with one another, and agree together. To express these with propriety, not either the wisdom or skill of man would have sufficed: but the altogether exquisite success of the Evangelists, in this respect, plainly betrays the fact that they used a style divinely taught them.—Harm., p. 451.

Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
John 12:28. Πάτερ, Father) This appellation, lovingly repeated, agrees with the change in the subject of address to Him.—δόξασον) glorify, at any cost whatever to Me. The Father presently after accepts this petition; δοξάσω, I will glorify it. Already the ταραχή, troubling, John 12:27, is past.—σοῦ τὸ ὄνομα) Thy name of Father, which is in Me, as being Thy only-begotten Son: Exodus 23:21, “My name is in Him:” with which comp. Matthew 3:17. [At His baptism] “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” John 17:5, [At the transfiguration, the same testimony of the Father]. Therefore the voice from heaven thrice proclaimed the Son of God.—καὶ ἐδόξασα, I both have glorified) My name. See ch. John 17:5.—πάλιν δοξάσω, I will again glorify it) See the same passage, ch. John 17:5; John 17:1. By the verb, I have glorified, the entrance of Christ upon that hour is accepted [as also His entrance into the world, His sojourn in it being simultaneously implied.—V. g.]; by the verb, I will glorify, there is promised the glorification of the Father’s name through the glorification of Christ owing to His passion [suffering]. To the twofold speech of Jesus the twofold reply of the Father corresponds.

The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
John 12:29. Ἀκούσας, having heard it) They had heard the sound, not the words. In the greatest revelations there remains something whereby faith may be exercised.—βροντήν, thunder) It was spring.[321]

[321] When thunder is frequent.—E. and T.

Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
John 12:30. Οὐ δἰ ἐμέ, not on account of Me) Himself and the Father are one; wherefore He needs not external testimonies whereby His Divine mission may be confirmed. It is probable that, at the time of Jesus’ retirements, there were no miracles wrought in secrecy. So also, in the case of bright examples of a happy departure from life, the incidents which occur do not occur for the sake of the departing, but for the sake of the survivors,—δἰ ὑμᾶς, for your sakes) ch. John 11:15, “I am glad for your sakes that I was not there (with Lazarus at Bethany), to the intent ye may believe,” 42, “I knew that Thou nearest me always; but because of the people which stand by, I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” [This was truly a remarkable testimony, not inferior to those which were perceived (heard) at Jordan and on the holy mount (of transfiguration).—V. g.]

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
John 12:31. Νῦν, now) Now, at this moment. This νῦν now, is to be taken in the precise sense, in antithesis to the lifting up from the earth [John 12:32], which followed a few days subsequently. From this point of time Jesus, with the sweet toil [efforts] of His soul, strove [pressed forward] towards the glorifying of Himself more than heretofore: ch. John 13:31, John 14:30, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me;” John 17:1, “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify Thee.” Comp. ἄρτι, now, by a new step in advance, Revelation 12:10 [ἄρτι ἐγένετο ἡ σωτηρία, καὶ ἡ δύναμις, καὶ ἡ βασιλεία, Now is come salvation, and power, and the kingdom, etc.]—κόσμου, of the world) not, by the world; not, into the world. It is the Genitive of the object: the judgment concerning this world, is as to who is hereafter about to be rightful possessor of the world. Comp. ch. John 13:3, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands,” John 16:11, “The prince of this world is judged;” Colossians 2:15, “Having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (the cross);” Hebrews 2:14. “Himself likewise took part of the same (flesh), that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”—ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, the prince of this world) This appellation is referred to at ch. John 14:30, John 16:11, and occurs nowhere else. Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not.” He had been rather the adversary of this world through sin and through death.—ἐκβληθήσεται, shall be cast out) An abbreviated expression: i.e. he shall be judged [taken out of “Now is the judgment,” etc.] and condemned, and cast out from his former possession as one tried and found guilty. Afterwards, being led in triumph, he is cast out as an accuser: Revelation 12:9, [10] “Satan was cast out into the earth—the accuser (κάτηγωρ) of our brethren is cast down.”—ἔξω, out) from the bounds of the kingdom, given to Me on high. With this corresponds the word ὑψωθῶ, when I am [if I be] lifted up, occurring presently after. Satan never possessed the kingdom itself, which was given to Christ on high; but he from time to time entered its limits and borders, from which he is doomed ultimately to be cast out.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
John 12:32. Κἀγώ) and I, I truly. The antithesis is, the prince of this world.—ὑψυθῶ, I shall have been lifted up) See John 12:33, and ch. John 3:14, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.”—ἐκ τῆς γῆς) from the earth. Comp. Acts 8:33, “His life is taken from the earth.” In the very cross there was already something that tended towards glory.—πάντας, all) even the Gentiles, John 12:20 [the Greeks, for instance, who applied to Philip, wishing to see Jesus], Satan shall not be able to retain them; and himself shall give way. Here the answer is given to the request mentioned at John 12:21, “We would see Jesus.”—ἑλκύσω, I will draw) from earth, upwards. By this word a power is indicated in opposition to the prince of the world, who shall no longer detain his captives.

This he said, signifying what death he should die.
The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
John 12:34. Ἡμεῖς, we) This word has in it something of irony in this passage.[322]—ἐκ τοῦ νόμου) out of the Law, under which are comprehended the prophets and psalms.—μένει, abideth) Psalm 16:10, “Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption;” Psalm 45:7 [6?], “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever;” Psalm 72:5, “They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endureth, throughout all generations;” Psalm 89:29, “His throne as the days of heaven;” Isaiah 53:8, “Who shall declare His generation?” John 12:10, “He shall prolong His days.”—[323] καί, and) The Jews join together things which ought not to have been joined:[324] Isaiah 53:8, “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation?” Death itself was His path to everlasting duration.—πῶς, τίς, how, who) They ask a double question: concerning His being lifted up, from John 12:32; concerning His being the Son of man, from John 12:23, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified” [with which comp. ch. John 8:28, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He”].—τίς) Who is, say they, the Son of man, if the Christ be not? And yet Thou sayest, that the Son of man is about to be lifted up; whereas the Christ does not die: τίς, who, of what nature and character.

[322] We had always heard so and so, but you, in sooth, are wiser.—E. and T.

[323] εἰς τὀν αἰῶνα, for ever) They therefore were entertaining exalted sentiments concerning the Christ.—V. g.

[324] i.e. They ought not to have confounded together His everlasting dominion and His death: the former is distinct from, though to be preceded necessarily by the latter.—E. and T.

Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
John 12:35. [326] ἜΤΙ, as yet) Jesus does not reply to their objection, but subjoins truths which are most necessary for them.—μικρόν, a little while) The antithetic words are, for ever, John 12:34. The Jews were supposing that the Christ, when once He came, would never be but with them [would always remain with them].—ἐν ὑμῖν, among [with] you) The Light itself remains, but not always among [with] you. So ἐν αὐτοῖς, among them, ch. John 15:24. Ἐν is for the Hebrew ב.—ΠΕΡΙΠΑΤΕῖΤΕ, walk) with onward progress. What is required of us is, to walk, not to dispute. Faith is not indolent, but active in [using] the light, John 12:36.—ΚΑΤΑΛΆΒῌ, overtake) unexpectedly.—καί, and [for]) The conjunction for the relative; in which darkness he who walketh, etc. So καί, and, is used, Luke 24:18, “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and (who therefore) hast not known the things?” etc.—ποῦ, where) whither.

[326] σὺ λέγεις, Thou sayest) We have them therefore confessing, that Jesus presented Himself to them, so as to be known and acknowledged as the Christ.—V. g.

While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
John 12:36. Υἱοὶ φωτός, the children of light) who remain always attached to the light, ch. John 8:35, “The servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.”—γένησθε) that ye may become [not be, as Engl. Vers.]; inasmuch as ye are not so of yourselves.—ἀπελθὼν ἐκρύβη. He departed and hid Himself) By this very act He intimated what would afterwards befal them [He would hide Himself from them]; Matthew 23:39, “Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
John 12:37. Τοσαῦτα, so great) So many. A general Epicrisis [See Append. A statement added to a speech or sentence to make the subject in hand more intelligible].—ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν, before them) so that they perceived them with their eyes.—οὐκ ἐπίστευον, they did not believe) There follows something further, they could not believe, John 12:39.

That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
John 12:38. Ὃν εἶπε, which he spake) Not only are the things prophetical which the Lord spake to the prophets, and they in His words, but also what the prophets spake to the Lord in their very own words.—Κύριεἀπεκαλύφθη;) Isaiah 53:1. So expressly write the LXX. In the Hebrew Κύριε is not extant. In comparing with this the following verse of the passage, The arm of the Lord may be taken for the Messiah Himself.—ἀκοῇ) ἀκοή, the faculty of hearing; thence that which is heard, i.e. a report, a testimony: its correlative is faith [taken out of ‘believed’].—ἠμῶν, our) of us prophets.—ὁ βραχίων Κυρίου) the arm of the Lord, put forth in miracles and in the work of redemption, and preached in the Gospel; Isaiah 52:10, “The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God;” Psalm 98:1-2, “His right hand and His holy arm hath gotten Him the victory. The Lord hath made known His salvation.”—τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη, to whom hath been revealed?) In itself it has been put forth; but the blind did not see it. Who is a believer? Ans. He is such a one, to whomsoever the arm of the Lord has been revealed.

Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
John 12:39. Διὰ τοῦτο) for this reason; because, namely, this just judgment on them had been foretold. The Evangelist stops short at this point: who may venture [strive to reach] farther? [First, they do not believe, as being refractory; then, they cannot believe. They are mistaken, who suppose what is said to be in the inverse order: they could not believe; therefore they did not believe.—V. g.]

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
John 12:40. Τετύφλωκεν, hath blinded) God, by a just judgment on them. There follows, with a change of person, I the Messiah should heal them.—πεπώρωκεν) The words in antithesis are, πώρωσις, and νόησις hardness of heart, and understanding. Comp. 2 Corinthians 3:14, “Their minds were blinded; for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away.”—ἵνα μή) even to that degree that not. Comp. ἵνα, ch. John 5:20, “He will show Him (the Son) greater works than these, ἵνα (with the effect that, to that degree that) ὑμεῖς θαυμάζητε, ye may marvel.”—καὶ νοήσωσι τῇ καρδίᾳ καὶ ἐπιστραφῶσι, and understand with their heart, and be converted) These two clauses have a nearer connection with one another than with the rest, as is shown by the Hebrew accents in Isaiah.

These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
John 12:41. Ὅτε εἶδε τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, when he saw His glory) Instead of αὐτοῦ, one or two copies write τοῦ Θεοῦ from John 12:43; but with this reading the application of Isaiah’s inspired declaration to the times of Christ would be weakened.[327] Isaiah, ch. John 6:1 [In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne], saw the divine glory of Jesus: John 1:14, “We beheld His glory, the glory of the Only-begotten of the Father,” John 17:1, etc., in such a way, moreover, as it was about to be revealed in the New Testament, and as the Jews were not about to recognise it.—ΚΑῚ ἘΛΆΛΗΣΕ, and spake) There is to be understood ὅτε, when, as ὅτι, that, is understood at John 12:16. What is pointed to is that speech of the prophet, which is mentioned conjointly with the vision which he saw: Isaiah 6:5, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

[327] Dd read τοῦ Θεοῦ αὐτοῦ. Memph. and Theb. Versions read τοῦ Θεοῦ. But ABabc Vulg. Rec. Text and Hil. read αὐτοῦ. Note also that the oldest MSS. ABLX, the Memph. and Theb. Versions, read ὅτι. Dabc Vulg. however support the Rec. Text, ὅτε.—E. and T.

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
John 12:42. Καί, also) not merely from among the common people.—Φαρισαίους, the Pharisees) These were most bitter, and formidable to the chief rulers themselves. [It seems, they were aiming at the greatest degree of power, actuated by a perverse zeal; especially those who were in the discharge of any public office.—V. g.]—οὐχ ὡμολόγουν, they did not confess Him) although their mind, convinced through belief, was urging them to confess Him. Not to confess, and to deny Him, differ.

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
John 12:43. Ἠγάπησαν, they loved) the Gospel demands, and produces[works] in men, a renunciation of human things.—τὴν δόξαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, the glory [praise] of men) such as is communion in the synagogue. [And of what worth is this, when it is compared with the right of fellow-citizenship with saints and the household of GOD?—V. g.] He who shrinks from ignominy [incurred for Christ’s sake] already loves the glory [praise] of men.—τὴν δόξαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, the glory [praise] of God) Glory from God falls to the portion of those, who believe and speak out: John 12:26, “If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour;” ch. John 1:12, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”

Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
John 12:44. Ἰησοῦς, Jesus) This is the epilogue and recapitulation, given in the Gospel of John, of the public discourses of Christ. On this account He says in John 12:48-49, I have spoken, as of a thing past.—ἔκραξε, He cried) eagerly desiring the salvation of men. [The words from John 12:44-50, “He that believeth on Me,” etc., He spake in the very act of departure (John 12:36, ‘departed’), when He was now by this time removed from the men by a considerable interval: wherefore He is said to have cried, no doubt in order that those very persons, with whom He had spoken, might hear, not excluding the rest, who were then standing in the temple. John mentioned His hiding Himself previously (though really subsequent to John 12:44-50), John 12:36, inasmuch as referring to the words, “Yet a little while,” etc, John 12:35-36, “While ye have light, believe in the light.”—Harm., p. 450.]—οὐ πιστεύει εἰς ἐμέ, he does not believe [merely] on Me) His belief is not directed to Me alone: 1 Peter 1:21, “Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” Christ refers and delegates all things to the Father.—ἀλλʼ εἰς, but on) Faith in the Son is also at the same time faith in the Father, because the Father sent the Son, and because the Son and the Father are one; with which comp. ver. foll., “He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me;” ch. John 14:9, etc., “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father,” etc.

And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
John 12:45. Θεωρῶν, he that seeth) with that vision which faith accompanies: ch. John 6:40, “This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting Life.”—ἐμέ) Me, the Light, John 12:46.—θεωρεῖ, seeth) By the looking to Me, He reaches the Father: ch. John 14:9. There is not added here [as in John 12:44], he seeth not Me, but. For believing and seeing, though joined together, stand on a different footing. In John 12:47 there is added the idea of hearing, “If any man hear My words,” etc.—τὸν πέμψαντά με, Him that sent Me) This passage is to be commended to the consideration of those, who are in doubt as to how they ought to set God before them in calling on Him in prayer. Add ch. John 14:9.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
John 12:46. Φῶς, a light) The idea of the discourse is continued from John 12:36, “While ye have light, believe in the light,” etc.—μὴ μείνῃ, should not abide) We were therefore in darkness.

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
John 12:47. Ἐγὼ οὐ κρίνω, I judge him not) This is limited in a threefold way: (1) I, alone [not I alone, but also, etc.]; and (2) in the present, I do not judge [now; but hereafter I shall]; and (3) causally, it is not I who judge him, but he who does not believe, himself rushes into judgment by the fact of not believing in My word.—ἵνα κρίνω, ἵνα σώσω, that I may judge, that I may save) Words in the same tense. Observe: the unbeliever is a portion of that world, for the sake of saving which Christ came. This is clearly evident from the connection of the words.

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
John 12:48. Ἐμέ, τὰ ῥήματά μου, Me, My words) Inasmuch as the Jews were rejecting Christ Himself, for this reason they received not His words; ch. John 8:43, “Why do ye not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word.”—ἔχει) hath already.—ἐκεῖνος, that word) This pronoun looks a long way forward.—ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ, in the last day) ch. John 6:39, “This is the Father’s will—that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” Both the resurrection and the judgment shall be on the one day. The mention of the last day has great force both as regards believers and as regards unbelievers.

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
John 12:49. Ὅτι, because [for]) This is the reason why the word shall judge the unbeliever; for it is the word of the Father: ch. John 14:24, “The word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, which sent Me.”—αὐτός) Himself.—τὶ εἴπω καὶ τὶ λαλήσω) λαλῶ is said of a speech copious, and with but one side (one-sided, μονοπλεύρῳ): ἔπω, of a speech brief, and relating to both sides [reciprocal; ‘mutuo’], ch. John 16:17, etc. [εἶπονπρὸς ἀλλήλους, etc., οὐκ οἴδαμεν τί λαλεῖ;—εἶπεναὐτοῖς]. They differ as דבר and אמר among the Hebrews.[328]

[328] Tittmann, Syn. New Testament, says λαλεῖν, is the mere enunciation of words, independently of any reason why they are uttered, the use of human voice and language; εἰπεῖν relates only to the words as spoken successively; λέγειν refers to the sentiment and connection of the words.—E. and T.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
John 12:50. Ζωὴ αἰώνιος, life everlasting) Wherefore he who despises the words of Christ, despises life everlasting. For life everlasting rests upon the experimental knowledge of the Father and the Son: ch. John 17:3, “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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